Talk About Touches - Gundersen Health System
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Talk About Touches

Children deserve to be safe and healthy. Talking to your child about touches builds trust and opens conversations to create safe, healthy relationships.

Have a conversation with your child about body safety rules:

  • Teach correct names for all body parts including private parts. Establish private parts are different from the rest of their body.
  • Reinforce for your child that no one should touch or look at their private parts or ask the child to touch or look at their private parts, even if it is someone the family knows.
  • Explain there are times when adults do touch kids’ private parts to keep them clean and healthy. If it is a clean and healthy touch, like at the doctor’s office or a diaper change, use it as a teachable moment and a reminder your family talks about touches.
  • Tell your child to shout “no” or “stop” when someone touches or asks to touch their body or private parts. If your child freezes and isn’t able to say no, it still isn’t their fault and they can still talk to an adult.
  • Identify at least 5 trusted adults your child can talk with about touches and have their questions answered.
  • Listen to their gut or “uh-oh” feeling. If someone gives them this feeling, they should move away from that person and find a trusted adult.
  • Remind your child: Touches are never a secret.
Situations to discuss with your child

Use these examples to talk to your child about touches and build their confidence to go to a trusted adult if they have questions about their body. Keep the “what ifs” upbeat and positive.

  1. Someone asks you to keep a touch a secret. What do you do?
    Answer: We don’t keep secrets about touches in our family. We always talk about touches. You will never be in trouble if you ask a question or tell us when you think someone is breaking your body safety rules.
  2. Adults usually give children baths so they are clean and healthy. What if someone gave you a bath that made your “uh oh” feeling go off?
    Answer: Talk to one of your 5 trusted adults to ask questions. And it’s ok to say “no” or “stop” when someone touches or asks to touch your body or private parts.
  3. Is it sometimes ok for doctors and other adults to touch private parts?
    Answer: Sometimes adults, like doctors and parents, touch private parts to make sure they are clean and healthy. Remember: You can always ask questions about touches because we do not keep secrets about touches.
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